I am advised that the carriage of a passenger in an invalid tricycle would be dangerous. I hope very soon to have completed a review of the whole question of invalid vehicles.
Can my right hon. Friend give an indication of when he will have completed this review and, in particular, whether he will make a statement before the House rises for the Summer Recess? Is he aware that many people feel that these invalid tricycles could be used by two people, particularly for married couples who are both incapacitated, and that this would be of immense value?
In answer to the second part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question, of course I see the great social advantage of being able to carry a passenger in an invalid tricycle, but I am told that accidents have occurred when a passenger has been carried and that in some cases this has seemed to have been the result of the vehicle having become unstable.
In reply to the first part, I certainly hope that I will have completed my review and be in a position to inform the House before we rise for the Summer Recess. I would not like to make any firm promise, because this is a much more complex matter than I had at first appreciated. It is not simply a matter of whether one provides motor cars instead of tricycles, for it involves a number of medical, social and financial aspects. However, I hope to be in a position to announce my conclusion to the House before the Summer Recess.
I welcome the Minister's statement about his intention to make an announcement before we rise for the Recess. Is he aware that hon. Members who represent constituencies where the incidence of disablement resulting from industrial injuries, particularly mining disablement, is high are sick and tired of this proscrastination on the part of the Government? Does the right hon. Gentleman not agree that the continued treatment of the industrially disabled—the cruel discrimination that takes place between those who have been injured through industrial accidents and are severely disabled and those who receive their injuries in another way—requires action on the part of the Government?
I can assure the hon. Gentleman that there is no question of procrastination here. I am trying to reach the best conclusion I can. As to his remarks about discrimination, with due respect to the hon. Member, if I were to do as he suggests in his Question—and I have, of course, given serious thought to his suggestion—that would be discrimination in favour of industrially disabled paraplegics over other people who are equally disabled and for whom provision is made within the National Health Service; and I do not think that that would be right.
Do not the difficulties mentioned by the right hon. Gentleman apply to all disabled people, and is it not illogical that the war disabled should have two-seater cars while the industrially disabled should not?
That matter has been considered on many occasions by the House and, as the hon. Gentleman knows, it has generally been the view of the House that some preference should be given to war pensioners.
Does not the Minister realise that by refusing to agree that there has been procrastination over this matter he is refusing to accept that my hon. Friends and I have for years been urging that something should be done but have received no action from the Ministry? If that is not procrastination, what is?